By Sabrin Jameel
How challenges and pain give us purpose and teach us
“Do the people think they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and will not be tried?” (29:2)
People say that “Life has a way of showing us who’s boss.” The reality is that Allaah is always teaching us the realities we need to know Subhan’Allah. He always does what is for our best, because He knows us best. He tests us, and with each experience, He is strengthening our faith, making us better equipped to deal with life; helping us grow towards our purpose and ultimate destination of Paradise, in shaa’Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.” (Sahih Muslim)
And Allah teaches us:
“…perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” (2:216)
Life is unexpected.
I went through something personal. It was unexpected, painful, challenging, and something I thought I’d never face. Yet, I am incredibly grateful for that test because Allah moulded me and taught me through it, and continues to even now, alhamdulillah. Here are several silver linings, to name a few, (and millions I can never know – subhan’Allah!)
Allah woke (perhaps shook!) me up, to discover myself. He allowed for a personal “SWOT analysis”, if you will, and alhamdulillah, it was very valuable. I learned things about myself I would never have learnt otherwise.
Yes there were days I felt alone, frustrated, grief, and that I would never overcome this situation. Yet eventually alhamdulillah, Allah made me see that this was simply untrue: I wasn’t alone, I am never alone, and from the beginning to the present, He has always been there. This clarity was refreshing and reassuring, Alhamdulillah.
He is sufficient for us, always, and I can attest that from the depths of the dark abyss, isolation, or from whatever it is that you are experiencing, He will rescue you and bring you back, in shaa’Allah.
He is there, He always was, always is.
Allah is full of love and mercy. He tells us He is closer than our jugular vein through His Knowledge and intimate awareness of us (50:16), and that He has neither abandoned us nor forgotten us (93:3). Subhan’Allah
And it was these words which were revealed from Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when he experienced similar feelings of lowness and isolation – and they comfort our hearts just as they comforted his ( sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam’s) heart.
The accounts of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and all our esteemed messengers, peace be upon them, are greatly inspirational, for they are the best role models; their fascinating stories give me great resolve, and reassurance. They too endured intense hardship, excruciating trials, but always maintained amazing grace and virtue, and by following in their example, we can do so too.
This experience was a test of my faith in Allah, and it reinforced my relationship and reliance in Him, as well as the priority and impact He has (and deserves) in my life, alhamdulillah. It enabled me to learn that I must do what is right by me, even if I have to go it alone ( and that in reality, I will always have Allah). And so my sisters, I pass this message on to you, that no matter what, don’t live for people, but for Allah, seeking His pleasure and approval; and realise that when you live for others, you’ll live a very unfulfilled, captive life.
Live your truth; one of the greatest injustices we could do to ourselves is not be ourselves. Every individual, is just that – individual. A unique, special, gifted, divine creation of Allah, subhanAllah.
In a world that keeps telling you to be something or someone else, choose YOU. I truly believe that everyone has their unique beauty, so let it be, show your true self!
Ignore drama, negativity and toxicity; instead surround yourself with goodness , positivity -people or things that benefit and support, are good for you, and won’t harm, or divert you.
Rise above, pick your battles, and pray for strength against the lifelong battle against shaitaan and all evils.
Don’t take any ‘haters’ personally, don’t give them the power. Remember: their words, their actions, are a reflection of them, not you. Remember that Allah is The Witness, the All knowing, Most Just. He remembers, and will deal with everything in the best way, so rest assured in that.
Allah will give you everything you need, whatever it is, whether it is people or whether is is something else. He is Ar-Razzaq, The Provider, Trust Him, and turn to Him.
Allah will give you sources of help you never anticipated. This is true. I say it from personal experience.
“…He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect.”(65:2-3)
Look after yourself, because no one else will. Of course we may have support but the foundation of self care is for you to look after yourself, Allah says He will not change our condition until we change what is in ourselves.(13:11)
Attach yourself to Allah alone (and pray for this) because unhealthy attachments will damage you, weaken you and keep you further away from being the best you can be.
Communicate with those who have earned your trust. Though Allah is the ultimate confidant, reach out, speak to those who you trust, and failing that, reach out to wonderful charities and resources Allah has provided us with who can help, alhamdulillaah. Don’t bottle up, communication is important.
The past is the past, leave it there, knowing that there are more beautiful things ahead, in shaa’Allah. Doors open and others close; Allah will replace what is lost with something better, in shaa’Allah. A good friend once told me that those who are stuck in the past, achieve nothing in life and stay stuck – this is one of the many nuggets of wisdom that has stayed with me, alhamdulillah.
Know that there is a purpose and bigger picture that will reveal itself. The experience you are going through will expand your skills, grow your strengths or create new ones or open new doors of opportunity that you would not have been able to get to otherwise – my test eventually led me here to writing for Solace, and I never imagined that!
Dear readers, even if it may not feel like it, know that ‘this too shall pass.’ Have patience, and know there is great reward in being patient during trial and hardship that can raise your ranks and elevate you even if others try to bring you down.
If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you,(3:160)
He will be your strength always, no matter what, He is Al-Haqq – The Truth, and when you are with the Truth, you will be successful, in shaa’Allah. Allah loves you, He is al-Wadud, the most loving, trust Him, confide in Him. Everything He has decreed is in your favour.
Just keep going – small progress is still progress. It might seem like a long road ahead, but don’t give up, you will overcome; you are close to Allah’s bounty and prize and He will help you through it, and Jannah is real and worth it.
I leave you with this duaa:
Oh Allah, Your timing, Your plan is best, grant us contentment with whatever you have decreed, and do not let our desires blind us to Your Will and to Your infinite Mercy, ameen.
About the author
Sabrin Jameel is a guest writer for Solaceuk.